NASA is preparing for an ambitious journey to Mars in 2030. The monumental space exploration does not only concern NASA, but it has also ignited the drive for space scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to develop space technology dedicated to creating habitations on Mars. One of them is RedWorks, a company who is intent on creating a 3-D printing system to build homes on the red planet.
It's starting to look like being stranded on Mars will not be as difficult as it was for Matt Damon in the movie "The Martian." Fast Company reports that sending men to Mars is no longer a dream, the problem now is the logistics, including the would-be Martian real estate for astronauts.
During the New Space Age Conference, Jekan Thanga of the Arizona State University said, "Mars is our next nearest destination...It's our most practical destination for long-term colonization."
That's the goal for Keegan Kirkpatrick. He is developing the 3-D printing system, which he claims can use Martian soil to build homes and other infrastructure like buildings and roads. Kirkpatrick said, "There are a lot of businesses focused on launching satellites and humans into space, but one important thing that isn't being addressed very much is the kind of infrastructure that needs to be put in place for us to be able to operate on another planet."
Kirkpatrick launched a startup called RedWorks, which aims to build real estate on Mars. According to the company's website, its sole mission is to create shelters that will enable human colonization of the Solar System, starting with Mars.
NASA launched a contest during their centennial celebration, inviting people to create a 3-D printing model of habitats for space exploration. This has inspired Kirkpatrick, an aerospace engineer, to develop his idea.
RedWorks believes that using their 3-D printing technology will help NASA in building homes on the red planet with the smallest cost possible via their "flexible manufacturing system".
Kirkpatrick employed a different approach in building this technology. He believes that in order to be successful, a pool of experts is needed. A report said that Kirkpatrick employed staff with different backgrounds, who can create an orchestrated work to develop this new technology. His team includes geologists, 3-D printing specialists and designers experienced in 3-D printing.
Creating a home on Mars requires more than just the structure. RedWorks also thought of the sustainable process to produce plants using aquaponics. Homes on the red planet will also be subdivided into a living area, science laboratory and life support systems, which are independent from each sections to enable maximum safety for the occupants.
Experts also agree that if NASA will succeed on their 2030 journey to Mars, more opportunities will open for both big companies and start-ups like RedWorks to supply the demand of building homes and communities on Mars.
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